Tax Defaulted Auction

Roy Given, Department of Finance

General Tax Sale Information Statement

Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Location: TBD

Link to List: TBD

To view Assessor's Parcel Maps online:  Assessor Maps

Questions: Contact the Tax Collector's Office at (415) 473-6137. Questions should be asked prior to the auction date.

Link to Final Reports:

2017 - Final Report

2014 - Final Report

Right to Claim Excess Proceeds Link:

2017 Right to Claim Excess Proceeds  January 18, 2018

2017 Right to Claim Excess Proceeds  January 25, 2018

2017 Right to Claim Excess Proceeds February 1, 2018


The Public Auction will begin with a reading of the attached Legal Notice of Public Auction as run in the Marin Independent Journal. Further, the information provided in this statement will be announced and then each parcel in parcel number sequence will be offered for tax sale.

The County of Marin Treasurer and Tax Collector reserve the right to pursue all available legal remedies against a non-paying bidder. SUCCESSFUL BIDDERS NOT COMPLETING PAYMENT MAY BE PURSUED FOR COLLECTION AND WILL FORFEIT THEIR DEPOSIT TO THE COUNTY.


During the auction, please announce your bid clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear. Succeeding bids will be at least $100 more or in multiples thereof. Raise your hand when announcing your bid and keep your hand raised until you are overbid or until your bid is accepted.

The minimum price set for each parcel must be submitted in cash, cashier's check or a money order, payable to the Marin County Tax Collector. The balance may be paid by personal check drawn on a bay area financial institution

Any dispute arising on any aspect or transaction of a sale shall be resolved by the County Tax Collector or Assistant County Tax Collector and their decision shall be final.

About three weeks after the date of purchase, a tax deed to the purchaser of tax defaulted property will be recorded by the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office. After recordation, a recorded copy will be returned to the respective purchaser by the County Recorder's Office.

Parcels receiving no bids, at the tax collector's discretion, may be re-offered before conclusion of the auction.


A transfer tax at the rate of $1.10 per thousand except in the City of San Rafael where the rate is $3.10 per thousand will be charged in addition to the successful bid price.

ALL SALES ARE FINAL, UNLESS, the County Board of Supervisors rules them invalid. If the sale is ruled invalid, the purchase price will be refunded.

If the balance, paid by check, is returned for any reason, the Tax Collector reserves the right to withhold the minimum bid amount and cancel the sale, or to enforce payment on the returned check as appropriate under the Bad Check Law. PAYMENT IN FULL MUST BE PRESENTED IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SUCCESSFUL BID FOR EACH PARCEL. The sale will continue immediately following each settlement. All sales are final.


Anyone interested in bidding on tax defaulted property should have made an investigation as to the exact location, desirability and usefulness of the property. Tax defaulted property cannot be presumed to be buildable or serviced by utilities. The parcels are sold in an "as is condition". The Tax Collector makes no warranties as to the condition of the property, zoning, permitted uses or legal status of the property, or as to any other matter. Additional information regarding property status and/or permit history may be obtained in the Community Development Agency/Planning Division. It is the purchaser's responsibility to determine if there are any liens or special assessments which would continue as an obligation against the property following a tax sale. Further, the property may be affected by easements, public purpose dedication and restrictions of record.

Bidders are required to conduct any research of due diligence they wish to conduct prior to submitting a bid. A bid is an irrevocable offer to purchase a property. A bid accepted is a binding contract. A bidder is legally and financially responsible for all properties bid upon whether representing one self or acting as an agent.

Parcels offered for sale may contain hazardous wastes, toxic substances, or other substances regulated by federal, state, and local agencies. The County of Marin, in no way, assumes any responsibility, implied or otherwise, for any costs or liability of any kind imposed upon or voluntarily assumed by a purchaser or any other owner to clean up, or otherwise bring into compliance according to federal, state, or local environmental laws for any parcel purchased. The Tax Collector shall not have any duty to investigate the status of any parcel with regard to contamination by environmentally hazardous materials.

DO NOT bid on these properties unless you understand the issues related to contaminated properties. Prior to bidding, you should contact your attorney regarding the possible purchase of contaminated properties.


The right of redemption shall terminate at close of business 4:30 p.m. (PT) on the last business day prior to the sale. Any remittance sent by mail for redemption of tax-defaulted property must be received in the Tax Collector's Office by close of business 4:30 p.m (PT) on the last business day prior to the sale in the form of cash, cashier check or bank money order.

The United States has the right to redeem from the purchaser, up to 120 days after the date of the sale, any property sold at a tax sale that has an IRS lien on it (USC Title 26, Section 7425(d)).


Occasionally, a property is sold at auction after redemption has been made by the current owners, or is sold in error. In these cases, a refund of the purchase price will be made with full understanding and agreement of the purchaser that the County of Marin has no further liability in the matter.


  1. How is the minimum sale price for a tax sale determined?

    State law dictates that the minimum sale price for a tax-defaulted parcel offered at a public auction shall be no less than the total amount necessary to redeem the parcel plus costs.

  2. Can I obtain a property available at the tax sale by paying the delinquent taxes prior to the tax sale date?

    No. Legal title to tax-defaulted property subject to the tax collector's power to sell can be obtained only by becoming the successful bidder at the county tax sale.

  3. How do I find or see a property I would like to bid on at the tax sale?

    While we try to give all possible assistance in helping prospective purchasers pinpoint a property location, vacant land has no address and must be determined through the use of county assessor plat maps and perhaps, a map book. Exact boundary lines of a property can be determined only by a survey of the property initiated at the purchaser's expense.

  4. How can I determine what use I can make of a tax sale property before I purchase it?

    Consult the County of Marin Community Development Planning Division for land use. Examine the county recorder's records for any recorded easements on a property. You can also order a title search report from a local title insurance company.

  5. Is the tax sale publicly advertised?

    The public auction notice is published three times in successive seven-day intervals before the tax sale date in the local newspaper.

  6. How will title in the deed of the purchaser be vested?

    Title is vested in the name of the actual purchaser. If title is to be vested differently, we require a notarized letter from the individual for whom you are acting as an agent, stating the manner in which title is to be vested.

  7. Do liens or encumbrances on a tax-defaulted property transfer to the new owner after purchase of the property at a tax sale?

    Pursuant to Section 3712 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the tax deed conveys title to the purchaser free of all encumbrances of any kind existing before the sale, except:

    1. Any lien for installments of taxes and special assessments, which installments will become payable upon the secured roll after the time of the sale.
    2. The lien for taxes or assessments or other rights of any taxing agency that does not consent to the sale under this chapter.
    3. Liens for special assessments levied upon the property conveyed which were, at the time of the sale, not included in the amount necessary to redeem the tax-defaulted property.
    4. Unaccepted, recorded, irrevocable offers of dedication of the property to the public or a public entity for a public purpose, and recorded options of any taxing agency to purchase the property or any interest therein for a public purpose.